Buddhadharma: The Practitioner's Quarterly

BOOK BRIEFS

(Shambhala 2020), Matty Weingast reinterprets the Therigatha, a collection of poems by the earliest female students of the Buddha. Taking poetic license from the Pali originals, Weingast transforms the poems into sharply penetrating and profoundly moving English free verse. The voices of these women are gentle but defiant, loving yet blunt: Do you want freedom? What does true freedom look like? Why freedom be for you? These are women who sought out enlightenment long before it was safe to utter “women” and “liberation” in the same sentence, yet Weingast has given voice to them in a way that renders the distance of two and a half millennia inconsequential. They speak as though’s Fall 2019 Women’s Issue—are timeless, but they are also the stories of those who came before us and blazed the way forward.

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